The Home Advantage Revisited: Winning and Crowd Support in an Era of National Publics

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25 Scopus citations


Home teams win over 50% of sporting contests. The sociological appeal of this is the assumption that home advantages are partly the result of the support fans provide, with the collective inspiring teams to performances above normal achievements. Recent changes in professional sports suggest that home support may not be as strong as once expected as structural conditions producing the home advantage have shifted. Distancing of players from fans via free agency and rapid salary escalation, coupled with marketing designed to create national publics, can produce declines in the home advantage. Levels of home advantage have decreased over 20 years, and now, an increase in crowd size reduces the home team's chances of winning. Teamscan still garner support from home crowds, but professional sports are less likely to be representations for local communities; the social bases of the home advantage have been eroded by economic forces and league marketing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-371
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Sport & Social Issues
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


  • home advantage
  • national publics
  • professional sports
  • social support


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